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Chinese telecoms firms committed to poverty reduction in Colombia

Updated: May 19,2015 3:41 PM     Xinhua

BOGOTA — By connecting Colombians with the world, Chinese telecoms firms are doing a great job in facilitating the Colombian government’s anti-poverty drive, one of its main missions.

ZTE Corp, China’s leading telecoms equipment manufacturer, said on May 18 that it is committed to reducing poverty in this South American country by supplying mobile devices and business services, promoting Internet access, and connecting people together.

“ZTE is contributing to supplying devices and services to improve the economy and develop the country. We offer training programs for the Colombian people and create job opportunities,” Zhu Yu, vice-director of after-sales service at ZTE for Colombia, told Xinhua.

“The Colombian government is using technologies in the remote control field to allow people to communicate between themselves so that they can educate themselves and do business. We hope that in a few years, the majority of Colombians will have knowledge that will help to improve their quality of life,” Zhu said.

Zhu, whose company has been carrying out social and environmental programs in Colombia since 2012, said ZTE also offers help to other countries where it has a presence.

“A latest example of this is Nepal. After the earthquake, our employees helped to re-establish communication and we sent humanitarian assistance with supplies such as medicines, tents and first aid equipment,” Zhu said.

According to Zhu, the Colombian economy is growing thanks to the government’s security guarantee for foreign investors and citizens, which can increase the country’s “technological purchasing power” for products made by the multinational company and other Chinese firms.

“We believe that further investment will bring more market opportunities to Colombia and at the same time it can create more job opportunities for the local communities,” Zhu said. “With our latest technology and devices at competitive prices, ZTE is attractive to Colombian operators and for the people that use our mobile devices.”

Anna Jaguaribe, director of the Institute for Brazil-China Studies, said that with improved quality and advanced technology, Chinese products are no longer stereotyped as mass-produced low-cost goods of dubious quality, and can compete on par with Western brands.

“This competition can benefit consumers by pushing prices down, “ Jaguaribe said.

In addition to better quality and cheaper prices, the competition also generates more advanced technologies.

Huawei, another Chinese telecoms giant, also provides catered services and products to the Colombian market, benefiting the development of remote areas.

The company worked together with a local fund to provide 1,800 tablet computers to schools in remote areas, and developed online courses for st

udents of those schools in cooperation with local telecoms operators and educational software developers, according to Liu Song, a manager at Huawei’s Colombian branch.

With the help of this project, which connects students in remote areas with online educational resources, local operators bought around 250,000 tablet computers from Huawei for the market in remote areas.

Meanwhile, in order to provide better mobile Internet access to better connect people, both ZTE and Huawei are working hard with 5G technology, which will provide more rapid connectivity in mobile and business aspects.

“Better connecting with the world means more opportunities for everyone, especially those who used to lack access to the outside world. We h

ope our technology and products can help make a difference to the people in need. We are businessmen, but we shoulder our social responsibilities,” Liu said.